Saturday, February 4, 2012


In Dec, 2010, I learned of a young girl who had just been diagnosed with ALL (the same type as Joey, but different because she was less than 1 year old). I've watched her journey online, written back and forth with her mom, Libby, and talked to them a few times at Dr. Rosen's office. Last fall, she relapsed and the doctors decided she needed a bone marrow transplant.  She had the transplant in mid-Dec and the transplant worked.  However, she had complications from her low immune system and ended up very sick.  The doctors tried everything, but on Jan 29, her parents had to let her go. She was 22 months old.

Joey has known about Paxten for a while and prayed for her daily while she was sick.  I sat him down and told him that God had healed her, but He had chosen to heal her in Heaven, not on Earth.  He cried for a little while but then seemed ok. The next day (just last Monday) was his monthly oncology appointment and port access.  He usually gives me no problems with going to Dr. Rosen's, but this time, he refused to go.  I finally got him in the car, to the building, and into the room (I had to carry him).  Once there, I got him to talk to me. He started crying and said he was scared.  I think he was processing what had happened with Paxten. He doesn't understand the details, he just knows that she had leukemia and now she's gone.

At home that night, I told him that Paxten was really sick and I didn't think he would get as sick as she was.  He said "as long as I take my medicines and go see Dr. Rosen, right?" I think he has now processed it all the way through and realizes why he has to go through all of this - because he'll get really sick if he doesn't. He continues to pray for her, but now he prays that God will take care of her since she's now with him. These are things he says on his own, we don't coax him.

He asked to go to Paxten's Celebration of Life, which was this morning, but we didn't think it would be good for him. I went with some other "cancer moms" and everyone gathered together afterward the service. The support from our new extended family is just amazing. We all feel close to each other and when one of us hurts, we all hurt.

I've been through a myriad of emotions this last week... deep sadness for Libby, thankfulness that Joey is doing so well (mixed with a little guilt for the same reason), fear that the cancer could come back and Joey could end up in the same position, blessed for God's grace and comfort in painful times, thankfulness for the Rosen's and what they do for our kids, and anger for all of us moms who have had to fight for our kids' lives.

Here's a picture that I took from Libby's Facebook page. I can't imagine how they are feeling right now, but they have made their faith very evident. They know that God's ways are always right, even it if means pain for them. If you think about it, please pray for continued strength & comfort for Paxten's parents as they start a new life.

Boy of the Year Photos

We had our second photo shoot for the Boy of the Year.  This time, he also took pictures with each of the candidates.  I haven't seen all of the candidate shots yet, but Joey's look pretty good.  Mikala (9) is the Girl of the Year. She spent much of the last year with no hair, but completed some of the meds and now it's growing back.  She was very apprehensive about going out in public with no hat, but she came to the photo shoot with just a head band.  I think the short hair actually looks great on her.

More X-Rays

On Jan 16th, I took Joey in for follow-up chest x-rays (from the pneumonia) and his weekly blood work (via a finger poke).  I got a call from the doctor the next day that his white counts were low (ANC of about 600), and that there was still something showing up on the x-ray.  Since he had no symptoms, I was just supposed to watch him and keep him away from germs as much as possible.

New Kitten

It seems like I've had a lot of posts about cats lately... Katherine took the loss of Oliver pretty hard and started begging for her own kitten. I was about her age (maybe younger) when I got my first kitten, so it seemed like a good idea, but I thought we should wait a little while.  However, after just a week, I found myself looking at the website for the Humane Society and the cats they had available.  That was it - we couldn't stay away.  It was a hard decision between 2 great cats, but she decided on an all black, 3-month old kitten.  Her name was Sally, but Katherine has now changed it to Kay. She's a sweet little kitten and takes play very seriously.